How to Take Care of Yourself after Laparoscopy

A laparoscopy is used to inspect the abdominal or pelvic organs for potential growths or damage. In the days after your surgery take good care of yourself.

Laparoscopy is a surgical procedure that uses a small incision to insert a lit tube allowing the doctor to inspect the abdominal or pelvic organs. This is commonly used to diagnose conditions like adhesions, cysts, fibroids or an infection. If necessary, a portion of the infected tissue can be taken out using this tube to be biopsied. Many doctors choose to perform a laparoscopy over more invasive surgeries because they are less stressful on the patient and have a lower recovery time. This means that in most cases patients will not need to undergo a long hospital stay.

You will not feel anything during the laparoscopy because you will be entered into a sleep-like state using anesthesia. Immediately after the surgery you will be taken to a recovery room to wear off these effects.

Laparoscopy Recovery Tips

Right after the surgery there're still some things that you need to carefully watch out for.

1. Stay in Recovery Area

Once you enter the recovery area, medical personnel will watch your heart rate, oxygen level, temperature and blood pressure to ensure that you are not suffering any ill-effects from the anesthesia. This will also give your body time to heal before you attempt to move around. In most cases, the patients will remain in the recovery area for 2-4 hours before they are cleared to go home. If you will require any additional care, your doctor will provide instructions at this time. You should also be provided with a list of any contact information you might need for follow-up care.

2. Need Longer Recovery Time

If you were given spinal anesthesia it may take additional time for you to recover. Your legs may feel numb and you may have difficulties moving them for several hours after your surgery. If you are having trouble walking to the bathroom after your surgery you will have to use a bedpan. A doctor will help monitor your progress to ensure that the feeling is returning to your lower body at a proper rate.

3. Experience Side Effects after Surgery

As your body heals during the laparoscopy recovery, expect some pain and bruising around the area where your stitches were placed. Pain in the shoulder is also common after a laparoscopy. You may also experience bloating that can cause pain and discomfort in the days following your surgery. Excessive bloating or gas in the digestive organs can cause some vomiting. If this gas leaks into the skin it may cause a cracking sound around the stitched area. This side effect should go away after a few days and is no cause for concern. In order to cut down on the risk of painful bloating, avoid drinking carbonated beverages in the initial days after your surgery.

4. Seek Follow-Up Care

There is still some risk of side effects after your laparoscopy has been completed. If you experience fever, severe abdominal pain, bleeding or any type of drainage from your stitches, swelling or redness around the incision site or hoarseness in the voice that lasts more than a few days contact your doctor right away. This can be a sign that your incision site or the area below may be suffering from an infection that will require follow-up care.

Home Care for Laparoscopy Recovery

Restrict activities - In the initial days when you return home you may feel tired. You should get enough rest to allow your body to recover, but you should not completely stop all activity. Make a point of trying to stay as active as possible in the days after your surgery unless your doctor has specifically told you otherwise. Limit any strenuous activities such as heavy lifting or heavy exercise for up to two weeks after the surgery to help ensure that you do not tear the area where your stitches are.

Limit certain medications - After a surgical procedure you will need to take care to give your body time to recover. Your doctor may ask you to limit your intake of certain medications that could increase your risk of bleeding. If you were given antibiotics before your procedure you may also need to limit your intake of medications that could interfere with this dosage.

Deal with bloating or gas - Your doctor may provide a prescription for medications to help manage any pain you may experience after your procedure. If you are dealing with bloating or gas compression that is causing discomfort your doctor can recommend gentle exercises that can help relieve this discomfort. Typically kneeling and placing your abdomen down on your knees will help dispel this gas, relieving your discomfort.

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